This is my best attempt to get all the important stuff in. Last I posted about the Dismal Swamp Canal...very dismal by the way. That was mile marker zero. We stopped next in Elizabeth City mile marker 50. We got chewed out for "breaking the law" by a grouchy old guy for plugging in to power at the town dock ...which the guide book said was free. Also for "being in the wrong spot"...the spot we were in was reserved for Catamarans...and by the way "Enjoy your stay in Elizabeth City." Thanks mister old guy from the south who wears his pants to high.
I think it was in this town that the search for oil and oil change equipment begins. I borrowed Lucile's oil change gizmo before, (thanks Lucile) but it was time to get my own now and I just figured I would get one n the way. Right. I think we actually attempted to use and return 3 oil change pumps because none of them where working. (I think it was 2 days later we found a trusty West Marine in Oriental City with what we were looking for.) Any way, we added oil to hold us over until we could find what we were looking for and also buy some more oil since we only had 1/2 quart left. We decided that most people must not change their own oil and go through this process and just bring their boat somewhere to get it done. But how do you figure out where to go when your engine requires an oil change every 50 hours which is basically every 4 days?
So any way we left there and motored on through the day. We stopped this night somewhere along the way and just anchored in a semi protected little area. After throwing the anchor Rolland noticed oil in the floor of the cabin...we open up to the motor and noticed the oil change cover was not in place...oops. How long had that been off? I dunno, lets just go to bed and worry about it in the morning.
In the morning (mile marker 80) we clean up what we can fill up the precious 1/2 quart of oil we have left and take of at a pampered speed, good thing we have a little wind to keep us going with the main sail. Along the way we see an old guy on his sail boat. but is he coming toward us or are we going to pass him...we never pass anyone. We thought maybe he had an engine problem or something. We passed him and then we decided to ask him is he had any oil to spare. After shouting at him a half dozen times (he was a little hard of hearing) he gave us two partial quarts...just what we needed. Oh yes, I remember now...it was Thanksgiving this day and there was not going to be anything open for us so this was a major thanks on our Thanksgiving day. So those of you wondering what we did this Thanksgiving, well, we spent the day thanking God for our engine not dying on us. We make it to mile marker 150, we ended up going 70 miles this day, the most we ever did.
Our next town we stop in is Oriental City. Here we get our oil pump that works and I got a new window in the dodger. With the new dodger...it seems like there is a just an empty spot where the window used to be....but no, its just a transparent window like all other dodgers. My old window was really bad...totally fogged in and far from transparent. This was a great town where absolutely every one was friendly.
We had a late start the next day which then we decided to try going in the dark since all the next markers were flashing markers. Not a good idea...we grounded. We missed a marker and turned too early. We tried kedging and rocking and everything else... we were in low tide getting lower and not budging. Nothing we could do but just wait for high tide. Talk about uncomfortable sleeping. Well, we didn't have to worry about where to anchor for the night. Around 5am we were free and went to a marina anyway...we needed sleep badly. The current was really rough at the marina area and we went to the first dock we could get into only to be woken up 1 hour later to be told we were in a private marina...OK, whatever we will pay you when we get up...zzzzz. We got up a few hours later only to realize we, in fact, were not in a Transient Marina but some sort of resort...we couldn't find the office. But we found some showers next door at the real marina and also moved Chanty over and enjoyed some ordered-in Pizza.
At mile marker 205: Later that afternoon we decided to make a jump out side the ICW since it looked like there was a little bit of a weather window. We got out there and bashed against the wind and waves for about 6 hours hardly making any head way. We said forget it turned around and went back to the marina we were at in only 3 hours.
We took off the next morning reaching Southport Marina by dark at mile marker 310. Did Laundry, took showers, ate out, slept good and left at the break of dawn. It happens to be very over cast and rainy. Later today supposed to be high winds from the north lasting through tomorrow.
Despite all the setbacks, I have been having a good time. Most of it has to do with having my BFF Rolland here as my first mate. Him having more sailing experience than I makes it much easier to make decisions and helps me keep calm when I feel like we are not keeping to our schedule, not to mention we just work well together and usually think alike. Rolland leaves me on Sunday...I will miss him very much.
All for now...will get some pictures in later I hope.